All of a sudden the Coronavirus has provided the opportunity for a large scale experiment on remote work given that many corporations have asked their employees to work from home to stay safe. BUT is it for everyone?
There’s a clear divide between those that enjoy it and those that don’t and a lot of the objections are two sides of the coin.
- SOCIAL - Some get bored and lonely and to offset that work from a coffee shop or make full use of tech tools that provide virtual human contact. While others absolutely thrive and don’t miss the Activity Based Seating in the office and haven’t been this productive in years.
- COMMUTE - Some love starting the workday in a bathrobe and feel that life is so much better without commuting. While others miss the work/home divide and offset that by taking a walk after breakfast before starting to work and go outside again before going “home” at the end of the workday.
- HEALTH - Some are pleased to avoid being in an environment that may put them at risk for health issues. While others are not the slightest bit worried and are sent home by colleagues at the first sneeze.
- FINANCES - Some live in areas where the commute doesn’t cost much and getting to work is fast so there is nothing significantly gained. While others save considerable amounts of money and time.
- GETTING STARTED - Some people need some pressure to get started with work, deadlines are their best friends and the challenge to get started is real. While others are selfstarters, love to-do lists, are accountable beacuse, well it’s just who they are.
- NEW VIRTUAL MEETINGS - Some people, myself included, dread setting up Webinar meetings or presentations due to the frequent technical issues. While others, see the clear benefit of achieving (close to) the same results from the comfort of your own home or office without spending the cost and time to travel to meet IRL.
For entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, giggers, and freelancers there’s little novelty to mixing office and home office work already, while for employees, especially in larger companies, probably go to work daily and this is a shift in mindset which may need some getting used to.
So what are the advantages of remote work?
- You can work from wherever you decide is your home as long as you adjust your “time zone” if necessary, to your co-workers.
- Time saver on commuting and office chit chat that may not be your favorite thing to do.
- Lower overhead costs may mean a higher salary potential.
- Fantastic opportunity to practice using webinar/virtual meeting options and learn how to use it best. I think it will be used a lot more in the future.
- Online meetings are shorter, more to the point and tend to have an agenda and a goal.
- Easier to focus on a task at hand and it’s far easier to pause an inbox and turn off the ringer than ignoring a co-worker in your room!
- You are being valued for your actual performance, not your social skills. Different metrics are in place for remote workers and this is especially good for people that can achieve a lot in little time. A workday can be far less stressful.
- This is a water test if you like what you do or the people you work with or both? Some people really enjoy the team they work with while the actual work isn’t so exciting. This is not a bad thing to find out.
- Having a talent that isn’t interested in relocating to your destination for a job will be able to be immersed as a team member when everyone is well versed in remote work regardless of location.
So are there Challenges? In a word, YES!
- It can make some people very uncomfortable with not having someone to ask in real-time and to be able to sit down and go through things thoroughly. Gretchen Rubin would call this group Questioners. They want guidance and support in a face to face setting to feel that what they are doing is right. Remote work makes that harder at least until you get used to it.
- A lack of community is a lack of purpose for some.
- Having a full house with family members at home can be far from restful or possible for productivity.
- Slower internet and not having set up secure connections in advance. Unless a policy is set up in advance it can limit the work that can be done to ensure compliance with clients.
- Tech, tech, tech yes, it has to be said. It must be modern and appropriate to work well. It may mean that you need more space if you need two screens for instance.
- Keeping data secure, while a locked cabinet may be used in the office things can float around a house more. A clean desk policy must be applied at home too and notes floating around in the kitchen is a No No.
Life as we know it is changing and whether we find it challenging or not it is the future of work. Given that so many are truly testing it in a short period of time a lot of input, improvements and new ideas will emerge. I for one love it!
This goes hand in hand with loving being efficient, structured and intentional. Every day! The program Motivational Mojo created by me a couple of years can be a handy took for you too, it’s free and it’s here! Do let me know what you think and I’d love to get feedback on apps, new tools, and your experience.